Kenneth Vercammen awarded 4th degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do by Grand Master Y. B. Choi. Tae Kwon Do is Korean Karate and is a martial arts form thousands of years old. The Y.B. Choi Tae Kwon Do school in New Brunswick holds its promotion test every December. The Black Belt candidates undergo a special ten week black belt training course, including 2 hour long classes Sunday afternoons. While training, each sees the large motivational banner on the wall:” BLACK BELT HARD WORK AND DEDICATION WILL GET YOU THERE". Passing the Black Belt test itself is no easy matter. Each student chosen to attend the testing must pass a rigid series of tests. The students must demonstrate their knowledge of advanced forms. Martial art styles use forms as a method of training. The forms consist of choreographed movements which include kicks, punches, blocks, and specialized stances. In addition, each student must demonstrate to the master judges their skill in exercising to perfection one of the lower forms. The students must next perform eight different one step sparring techniques to avoid an attacker's punch. Thereafter, each student must demonstrate ten separate hapkido techniques to immobilize or escape from an attacker who grabs you. The board breaking techniques are next. To pass the test, each student must be able to break solid wood boards with three different kicks. Ken Vercammen chose the sliding side kick, spinning back kick and the powerful ax kick. Students must also show to the judges their expertise in selected offensive and defensive moves, exercises, and flexibility drills. The testing also requires each person to all out spar (fight) against four different higher ranking black belts, without a rest. Candidates then spar against two opponents at once. As in any test, preparation and studying are part of the key to success. Having been a successful college athlete and never skipping a training day over the years, Ken Vercammen continued entering road races and triathlons on the weekend. Unfortunately, when he reached the 30 year old age group, he was tearing and injuring 1
muscles more than earning trophies. At the same time due to increased work in his busy law office, his only daylight training time was 6:45am 7:20am hardly enough time to out break a sweat. Going alone to Health clubs bored him, yet he needed a change in routine to get back into great shape. A return to martial arts has helped return him to excellent condition. In December of 1991, Ken Vercammen again was fortunate to train under the personal guidance of Grandmaster Y. B. Choi, a world renowned expert in Tae Kwon Do Korean Karate. Training under the right instructor is important to learning and improvement. Grandmaster Choi was the Korean National Champion and served as President of the World Korean Karate Federation. In these dangerous times it is important to learn techniques of selfdefense. Classes also work on confidence, discipline, respect, and weight control. Ken's martial arts training first began in 1974 when David Carradine starred in the original "Kung Fu" TV show. Ken started as a small, 108 pound wrestler, so for nearly 10 years he took classes on and off to learn to fight and for flexibility training. Included in the studies were classes in Ju Jitsui while attending Rutgers Graduate School and initial studies at Y. B. Choi's New Brunswick school in 1982. Part of the reason for returning to training in the martial arts was to improve his flexibility and "force" him to do more pushups and situps. He needed the discipline of a top notch instructor to tell/yell instructions. The classes provide a better workout than aerobics. The results from Tae Kwon Do training clearly paid off. Ken racing times were drastically improved and he was again winning his competitive age group in several races. His flexibility has increased and most importantly he has had less injuries and the muscle pulls have healed quicker. Approximately 20 years after he first began martial arts training, he was awarded the 1st degree Black Belt test on December 11, 1993. To even be permitted to take the Black Belt test, the student must has risen from a white belt to Yellow, Green, Blue, then Red Belt. Thereafter, students must pass 3 separate stages of red belt which take a 2
minimum of one year. In December 2001, Ken Vercammen earned the 2nd Dan of the Black Belt Test. Through training Martial arts provides positive selfimage and psychological benefits. This knowledge inspires confidence, which results in a sense of achievement and success. Tae Kwon Do helps one cope with life's difficulties and learn how to persevere. As one instructor stated, you apply creative and positive methods of thinking not only in training, but in how you respect others. You learn to except the unexpected, and to meet it without hesitation. Tae Kwon Do now provides one with a meaningful training regime to provide motivation, fitness, concentration, coordination, flexibility, confidence, and self control. Moreover, dealing with complicated cases and often being on trial, pressure and stress build up. Tae Kwon Do workouts help attorneys and professionals ease the stress level. One achieves a strong mind and strong body no matter what their age, sex, weight or skills. With growing family and business commitments, it is important to stay dedicated and take the time out to do things you enjoy. A strong mind and a strong body will help one in all careers and sports. As Ken's running career continues, he is grateful for martial arts which helped him to return to win age group awards in running races. For more information on the YB Choi School and its locations, call 7322461770.
hapkido techniques to immobilize or escape from an attacker who grabs you. The board specialized stances. In addition, each student must dem...